Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Around Valletta day 1

Yesterday we went around the capital city Valletta. Bordering the Grand Harbor this city is named after the Grandmaster of the Knights of St. John, Jean de Lavallette.

Malta is famous for its silver filligree work, some of which is displayed here.

Our first stop was the Armory of the Knights of St. John, which is now a museum.

First exhibit, some suits of mail from the 16th century.

Here are some captured scimitars, taken from the Ottoman Turks that attacked Malta during the great siege of 1565. Also pictured are some massive stone cannon balls.

Another huge display of captured scimitars, inlaid rifles and armor, all taken from the Turks.

This suit of armor belonged to the Grandmaster Lavallette.

Captured Saracen war drums. (!)

A beautifully inlaid suit of armor including a face plate for a horse. This reminded me of the inlaid damascene in Toledo, so much so that I wonder if this is where it was made.

A breastplate with a tapped image of Christ crucified.

These are cartridge pouches the Knights used to carry pre-rolled cartridges in.

Various bills and other weapons used to hack and hew attackers off seige ladders.

These super long spears were also used.

As well as these crossbows, capable of driving a bolt through even plate armor.

Some of the massive amount of spears on display. There were several fine examples of boar spears as well.
This is a rocket launcher, used for signalling.
Powder horns. The ones above are made of cow horn.
One of the inventions the Knights developed, a compressed-air rifle. The copper bladder was pumped full of air and then fired. Although it did work, it was too slow to reload. (Think about getting soaked while you're desperately trying to pump up your super soaker.)
Another interesting weapon, combination pistol and sword.

A miniature cannon.
The church of St. Paul in Valletta.
And a very lovely statue of St. Dominic.
This is a stunning Baroque church, as evidenced by this part of the ceiling.
Valletta by night. This is a shot of the Grand Harbor and the WWII seige bell monument.


DelGrosso said...

Awesome view of the harbor and really cool weapons and armor.

Teresa said...

The pictures are beautiful! I hope y'all have fun! :-)

Anonymous said...

how did you manage to minimize the glare and flashbacks! Amazing! Nawyce job professor... but still no glimpse of you... I was hoping to see even your shadow on the glass... but no such luck!

Aggie said...

I bet you guys were in your glory day 1 seeing all those telum (weapons)

Wolf said...

my name is W. Alex de Vallette and I visited Valletta several years ago. What especially moved me was the visit to the crypt under the cathedral of St. John and the stone effigy of Jean Parissot de Lavallette and laying my hand on it. My thanks goes to the Tourist Board of Malta who took great pains to show me around.
W. Alex de Vallette